I had only popped out to buy a bottle of wine to drink whilst I watched Neighbours. Karl and Susan were going through a rough patch and I knew I would need a bottle of red to get me through a traumatic twenty five minutes.
I had chosen a bottle and was in the queue at Bargain Booze when the girl behind me tapped me on the shoulder and told me that the world was going to end that night. She had manic eyes and a tattoo on her face. If anyone knew about the end of the world it was this girl. I bought the wine anyway.
“So, what do you want to do?” she asked me as we left the shop. I insisted that we went and watched Neighbours on the TV screens in Dixons. I was thus unable to drink my wine and watched the last ever episode of Neighbours with the sound off. Karl and Susan argued for the entirety. It doesn’t have to end like this, I felt like telling them. Then I remembered – it was filmed months in advance. There was still hope for a happy ending after all.
Next we went to a café full of old people who would all be gone tomorrow and didn’t even know that they were having their last ever lunch. We both had toasted teacakes with butter, honey and chocolate spread. Heavenly. We were going to hell for sure.
“Shouldn’t we tell other people?”
“Why? What good would it do? It’ll be a nice surprise for them.”
In less than twenty four hours my money would be useless. So we spent it. Not on anytthing useful – what would be the point? We spent it on ice cream and cake and taxis and wine and massages and fair ground rides. We checked into an expensive hotel, popping the cash on the counter and demanding the best room in the place.
We drank the wine that I had bought hours earlier. Then we had sex. I don’t think either of us were attracted to each other but the world was going to end so it made sense. It was ok. My heart wasn’t really in it.
“Lets do some crime.” She was lying on my chest.
“What? Why?” I asked.
“Because we can. Because there wouldn’t be any repercussions. Because the world is going to end.”
So we went down into the streets and did crime. Lots of crime, all different types. I had never done any crime before and I thought it would be somewhat more exciting. But it just made me feel empty.
“Cheer up,” she told me when we were back at the hotel, “the world is about to end.”
“Tell me about how it will happen.”
“The sky will burn red with flames and everything will disintegrate. We’ll be asleep when it happens and when we wake up there’ll be nothing.”
“We won’t wake up I suppose.”
The end of the world sounded so predictable and this made me feel even more depressed. We had sex again. It was better than the first time. Then we slept.
I woke up the next morning. It took me a few moments to realise that this was strange, that this wasn’t supposed to happen. The girl was nowhere to be seen.
I got out of bed and wandered around the plush hotel room naked. She had left my clothes and my keys, that was some consolation. From the window I could see all the way across the city, the sun beating hard down upon it, the sky a vibrant un-apocalyptic blue. The world had very much not ended.
I checked out and walked home. With no money in my pocket I could not buy a bottle of wine today so it was just as well that when I put the telly on to watch Neighbours I found that Karl and Susan had made up and were getting along just fine. The world kept spinning.